I have recently finished a 30 day writing course hosted by one of my all-time favorite creative thinkers, the writer, the beautiful Andrea Balt. And not to forget the talented, melt your heart like-a-popsicle-on-the-fourth-of-July (In the words of Darla from the Little Rascals), word warrior of our generation, Tyler Knott Gregson.
This experience was such an enriching journey of self-discovery. It was more challenging than I had expected, and I found myself more disappointed than pleased with my own work and ability to conjure inspiration. I started this course in a very balanced and slightly jaded-with-existence mindset with the goal of tapping into a muse of some sort. Coming out of it, the scales in my life have tilted a bit, and while I can see how much more uncomfortable that can be, I am also aware that these feelings of vulnerability, volatility, passion, borderline madness, and whatever other intensities we experience are where inspiration is born. It is actually necessary to be out of your comfort zone in some way if you want to create anything worthwhile.
I am reminded of quote from a refrigerator magnet I once had when I lived in New York. It was one of those cliché black squares (that they also sell as greeting cards) with a brightly colored font and inspirational quote of some sort on the front. This one was Nietzsche:
“One must still have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star”
I’ve found that the only times I have truly created what I considered to be above average work or writing (for my own standards), have been when I’ve been facing some sort of inner struggle. Creative expression is, in a way, a pursuit of freedom from the pain, sadness, and fear… or, a way of sharing joy, love and hope. The obvious problem is, these interactions with the muse can be unpredictable, fleeting and evasive, especially when you are seeking them for the purpose of creation.
Recently I have been seeking inspiration because I want to feel more. More passion for my life…the surface of mine has felt a bit lackluster over the last few years. I want to be driven to create again. Isn’t it strange that what I am wishing for is my scales to tip left and right? Which will require discomfort and vulnerability (which is my best worst friend. Or maybe my worst best friend, I am not sure yet). I do know that it’s one thing I have been running away from in recent years. And that action has shown me an underwhelming experience. And I can only see this perspective after being thrown slightly off balance again.
Anyway, to get off of this tangent, it has been great to have something forcing me to put words on the page every single day. Even when there are no creative emotions, no ideas, just a tired-from-work, want to get this over-with and go to bed brain. Even when it’s absolute shit, one word at a time. It’s no less a practice of creation. The meditative qualities of it are fantastic as well. I’ve learned more things about myself that I want to change or improve than coming out having pages of beautiful work, but in the end I realize this was the point all along.
We all know the only way to improve at anything is to just start doing it. Journey of a thousand miles and all that. So, I'm gonna be faithful l this time. And when events fall into place to make me crazy, mental, exhilarated, and needing to bleed beauty onto the page, hopefully my fingers will instinctively know exactly which notes to play on this keyboard of freedom. xx